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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Genealogy Isn't Always Easy So Dig Deep!

I dislike anonymous queries. Most often I don't respond to them. But this one caught my attention because I believe many genealogists are struggling with a similar problem.

So I've decided to respond to it. I'm going to break this query into 4 sections (questions) and respond to each in turn.

Q 1:
.... I still can't find out when my GGGrandfather Robert Scott born 1804 in County Mayo Ireland died 9 Jan. 1893 in Chatham Ontario ,came to Ontario Canada lived in Norwich Oxford County where he had 10 children with his wife Ann Carroll .

ASK OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Dear anonymous, You are very lucky that your ancestor had 10 children. By tracing each of these children and finding their obituaries or death notices you may find evidence of when their father came to Ontario. When you are stuck it's a good idea to broaden your searches to other family members

Q 2:
The James Allison records are just letters and orphens who came to Canada in the 1840's.

ASK OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Not sure how/where you got this idea but it's not correct.The James Allison Records cover the years 1823-1849. They are not just letters and orphans! James Allison was the emigrant agent at Montreal. His job was to see that destitute immigrants arriving in that city had food and transportation to their settlement areas (usually Upper Canada, which is now the province of Ontario)

The records include such items as lists of passengers on steamboats from Montreal to Upper Canada, provisioning lists of immigrants including such comments as "expecting to get to her husband in Merrickville"

Q 3:
I have looked in your site and can't find anything. WHAT file would give me info on when these two Ann Carroll born 14 May 1815 in Ireland don't know where and died in Portage La Prairie Manitoba on 1 Jan. 1916 at the age of 101 years old . These two person have been a mystery to me as there is no info on them as to when they came to Ontario Canada & who they came with (siblings & parents) . I have them in census from 1851- 1910 but not before 1851 is there any info on persons of this time period.

ASK OLIVE TREE ANSWER: This is a challenging time period and you do not have a very narrow timeframe in which to search. Basically you are saying that between 1815 and 1851 (almost 40 years) is when they arrived in Ontario. You will need to narrow that down.

Regarding my site Olive Tree Genealogy, it requires reading what is there and clicking on various links that might take you to a database of interest.

For this early time period in Ontario you may have to search OFFline as well as ONline. Thus you may need to read the instructional information on my site in order to learn WHAT is available for this time period and WHERE to find it. Often we have to learn what is available before we jump in to searching frantically for an ancestor's name.

The fact that you misunderstood the scope of the James Allison records suggests to me that you skimmed over my site's pages far too quickly.

Q 4:
Your help in directing me to the sites for immigration between 1800- 1831 would be gratefully apprectiated. already have checked out 18 sites

ASK OLIVE TREE RESPONSE: It's interesting that you have kept track of how many sites you have been to! I'm sorry to tell you that is not a lot of searching! It's a drop in the bucket when you consider how challenging a time period early Ontario records are, and how many different sites and physical repositories you will probably have to consult in your quest.

As for immigration between 1800 and 1831 I can definitely direct you, but I'm curious how you suddenly got down from that 1851 year to 1831?

In any case, if you visit Filling in The Gaps you will see a 2-column chart called "Finding Ancestors on Canadian Passenger Lists"

You want "Ships Passenger Lists Before 1865" on the left side. You must understand that there are *no* comprehensive ships passenger lists of immigrants arriving in Canada prior to 1865. Until that year, shipping companies were not required by the government to keep their passenger manifests.

What I have done is to list EVERY possible alternative source, such as Steamship Records, Emigration Agent records, Shipping Company Records and so on.

I cannot stress enough that at this time NO OTHER LISTS OR RESOURCES ARE KNOWN TO EXIST.

There may be others which have not yet been discovered - buried in a dusty basement of an Archive or in ledger books buried amongst other physical items. But the important point is that this list online has ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES for Ships Passenger Lists to Canada before 1865 listed and linked to. A few are only found offline but most have been published online as special projects.

You can of course also consult land records for your ancestor as most settlers immediately bought land. Find out when he bought his (if he bought any) and that will narrow your time frame for immigration.

You can also consult early (pre 1851) tax and assessment records to find out when he was living in Upper Canada.

You appear to have overlooked the 1842 census which actually gives the number of years the person had been in the province. Look for your ancestor there.

Friday, November 19, 2010

AskOliveTree Tries to Help

Jerry asked about an ancestor in Scotland but it seems he confused the AskOliveTree purpose with a lookup service. Here is Jerry's question:

Could you look for George Walker in Galashiels, Scotland Daughter Charlotte Berup Walker, age 5 in 1901 census. Owner of the Salmon Inn at one time in Galashiels?

Hello Jerry - I really enjoy helping genealogists overcome their challenges and brick walls. But AskOlive Tree blog doesn't provde a lookup service. I'm sorry that wasn't clear to you.

Sometimes a query intrigues me so much that I do have a little look for more information, but if you read through past questions and my responses, you will see that for the most part I offer help and direction and attempt to guide researchers to the right place for their needs.

Suggestions might be ideas for the researcher as to where to look next. They might include links to online records that will be just what the person needs.

For your query you need to consult the 1901 census. It's available on and may be found on other websites too.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FInding WW2 Records for English Soldier

This question about WW2 English records came from Hannah, age 14

Hello, me name is Hannah and I am 14 years old, I live in the UK. I am looking to find out, if possible, how my relative died or any more information about him, this is his record from the Commonwealth Grave Commissions website. Please please help, any more information would be greatly appriciated. Many thanks, Hannah

1TULLOCK , THOMAS PATTISONPrivate439286111/06/194427Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment)United KingdomXI. K. 21.BAYEUX WAR CEMETERY

Hello Hannah - It's wonderful that you want to learn more about your relative.

To find out more about his death your best bet would be his service records from WW2. You can do this by going to Veterans UK and downloading the forms you need to fill out.

The following address should be used for family members wishing to access records of deceased soldiers

Army Personnel Centre,
Historical Disclosures,
Mail Point 555,
Kentigern House,
65 Brown Street,
G2 8EX

I had a look online and found a bit more about Thomas. I hope this helps you in your search.

Source: UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
Name:Thomas Tullock
Given Initials:T P
Death Date:11 Jun 1944
Birth Place:Middlesborough
Branch at Enlistment:Infantry
Theatre of War:Western Europe Campaign, 1944/45
Regiment at Death:Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales' Own Yorkshire Regiment)
Branch at Death:Infantry

and also this:

Initials: T P,
Nationality: United Kingdom,
Rank: Private,
Extra Info: Son Of John E. And Lily Tullock, Of Middlesbrough, Yorkshire.,
Regiment: Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment), Unit Text: 6th Bn.,
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead,
Grave Reference: XI. K. 21.,

Also has an entry with a photo of the cemetery.

Pvt Thomas Pattison Tullock
Birth: unknown
Death: Jun. 11, 1944

Note: Private, Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment). Age: 27.

Burial:Bayeux War Cemetery
Basse-Normandie Region, France
Plot: XI. K. 21.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Finding an Airline Passenger Manifest

Herman asked about passenger manifests on airlines

I am trying to find out the airline, flight # or anything at all about our family's immigration to Canada in 1960. We flew from Amsterdam on sept. 22, 1960 and arrived in Montreal on sept. 23, 1960.

We think the airline was KLM but are not sure. If you have any information or leads on how to find this out, I would be very grateful.

Hello Herman - To the best of my knowledge, airline passenger manifests to Canada were not archived (saved) and thus no such manifest exists.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dutch Age of Majority in New Netherland

Barbara asked about the legal age in New Netherland (New York) when the Dutch first settled

The original Dutch Roman law gave the legal age as 25.But many people in New Netherland even without evident parental permission married around age 21, now the question is it feasible that a young man said to be born 1639 would be able to buy his own land in 1660 being about age 21---

----or is it more feasible (my believe) that if he is recorded buying land in 1660 he was closer to age 25, being born (a likely date for this young man named Gerrit Lubberts) around 1635.?

Hello Barbara - The Dutch age of majority was 21 so it is possible that your man was indeed purchasing land at that age. I certainly would not eliminate the possibility that he was anywhere from 21 and older.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Oath of Allegiance Taken by Palatine Refugees in 1727

Carl asked about the 1732 Oath of Allegiance that all Palatine males had to take on arrival in Pennsylvania.

Hello Carl, Great question! I don't know if the Oath was standardized (although I suspect it was) and I also don't know how/if it changed over the years! But here is one Oath that Palatine males over the age of 16 had to swear to on their arrival in 1727

" We subscribers, natives and late inhabitants of the Palatinate upon the Rhine and places adjacent, having transported ourselves and families into this Province of Pennsylvania, a colony subject to the crown of Great Britain, in hopes and expectation of finding a retreat and peaceable settlement therein, Do solemnly promise and engage... "  Continue reading the Oath

I would like to know exactly what the Oath of Allegiance said that all the Palatines agreed to when they off-loaded at Philadelphia on October 17 or 19, 1732.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Don't Overlook FamilySearch Genealogy Records online

I don't usually accept anonymous queries. I figure if you want me to help, you should tell me your name. But... I broke my rule with this one only because it was easy to answer and it might help others.

An anonymous reader asked

Frederick Martin born 1912 in Cleveland Ohio to Earnest and Gertrude Martin. I cannot find anything in the state of Ohio that indicates when he died. I was told that he froze to death after an Aunt put him out in the dead of winter. The most recent story I heard was he was put out in Dayton Oh and was walking back to Cleveland. I have no idea of how old he was when this happened. He was never married and never served in military. He does show up on the 1920/1930 census. Nothing after that. All siblings are deceased so there is nobody to ask. Where do I go from here.
Ask Olive Tree answer: Dear Anonymous - I would have spent more time on this if you'd signed your email. But here is my quick answer for you: has Ohio deaths

Friday, November 5, 2010

Finding a Ships Passsenger List to California in 1935

Joan asked about a ships passenger list from New Jersey to California in 1935:
Can you suggest where I might be able to find a passenger list in 1935 ... sometime from the date my Grandmother died (28 Jan, 1935) ... through July.

I'm looking for my Grandfather, Ernest C. Hinck. He traveled from California to NJ in February (probably by train with my Grandmother's body). On the return trip by boat, he met a woman whom he subsequently married in July 1935. It was a short marriage since he died in May of 1936.

My sister and I are trying to confirm a family story about this woman.


If I understand your query correctly, you are looking for a ships passenger list for a voyage from New Jersey to California ca 1935.

As far as I know, it was not a requirement to keep lists of ship travel within the USA, meaning from one state to another. However, to be certain, I suggest you go to TheGenealogySpot to find out exactly what passenger lists NARA holds for California arrival ports

Another place to try is the list of sites with passenger lists arriving in California.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Finding a Marriage Record in Quebec early 1800s

Leslie asked about Quebec Marriage Records

My GG grandparents, Charles Church and Adelia Sweet, were supposedly married in Quebec. They were born around 1800. Adelia's obit says Vermont and I am not sure if Charles was born in Vermont or the Brome area of Quebec. They ended up in Huron Co., Ontario. I have also seen Adelia's named spelled Delia on a census and Adelaide.

Charles may be the son of Nathaniel Church and Calista Wells who had three sons named Charles, Nathaniel and Dudley.These three Church names show up in Huron County in the early 1840s. A book about the Wells family states one of the brothers was in this area.

I am trying to find proof of Charles' and Adelia's parents. I was hoping to find proof of a marriage and maybe their parents names. Do you have any other suggestions? I have pretty much exhausted all of the resources that I have been able to find.
Hi Leslie - First, thank you for such a well written query. You gave me names, dates and locations and summed up your challenging question very well. I appreciate that!

My first thought is that you may want to check Quebec church records. Do you know what religion Charles and Adelia were?

Sources in Quebec can be divided into three categories:

1608-1763: French Regime. Certain books include Detroit and other French forts that are outside the present borders of Quebec.

1763-1901: British Regime. Vital statistics are preserved at the Archives Nationales du Qu├ębec.

1900-today: This period covers the vital statistics that are not archived.

So you will want to start with the Archives Nationales du Quebec. Most original records for the Province of Quebec before 1900 are at the nine branches of the Archives Nationales du Quebec. Although microfilm copies of some records are held by all branches, there is no one central repository. Each specializes in a region, and regional boundaries do not match county boundaries exactly.
There is a bit more information and links to online sites at the Quebec section of OliveTreeGenealogy so you may want to have a quick look there.